Subscribe      List an Event or Business      Invite a Writer      Write for WN      Writers      Other Locations
1 million Australian readers every month      list your event

Adelaide's Bicentennial Conservatory

Home > South Australia > School Holiday Activities | Fun Things To Do | Fun for Children | Free | Family
by Dave Walsh (subscribe)
I enjoy writing about Adelaide and its many attractions. If you think Adelaide is boring, the problem is not with Adelaide. Please click the link to Like my articles, and subscribe to see more. adelaideunearthed.blogspot.com.au
Published January 26th 2013
Where are the dinosaurs?
south australia tourism, bicentennial conservatory, whats on in adelaide, what to do in adelaide, gardens in adelaide, gardens of australia, rainforest in australia, australia plants
The Bicentennial Conservatory


The majestic Bicentennial Conservatory set in the Botanic Gardens in Adelaide is one of South Australia's major tourism drawcards. Its futuristic design dominates the landscape, looking like an enormous spaceship visiting the rose gardens nearby.

south australia tourism, bicentennial conservatory, whats on in adelaide, what to do in adelaide, gardens in adelaide, gardens of australia, rainforest in australia, australia plants
Bicentennial Conservatory @ Botanic Gardens in Adelaide


Opened in 1989 to celebrate Australia's Bicentenary, this spectacular edifice was designed by local architect Guy Maron and has received many awards. At 100 metres long it is the largest single span conservatory in the southern hemisphere, and was built to exhibit a tropical rainforest in Australia.

south australia tourism, bicentennial conservatory, whats on in adelaide, what to do in adelaide, gardens in adelaide, gardens of australia, rainforest in australia, australia plants
The Gently Sloping Walkway Offers Great Views


Adelaide's temperate climate meant that tropical plants would need heating in winter to reach their normal preferred range of 23-33 degrees Centigrade. After concern about the cost and impact on greenhouse emissions, in early 2012 the conservatory was restocked to become a subtropical rainforest which would need no artificial heating during winter.

south australia tourism, bicentennial conservatory, whats on in adelaide, what to do in adelaide, gardens in adelaide, gardens of australia, rainforest in australia, australia plants
Almost Like Being on a Different Planet


Once inside I felt that I had been transported to Jurassic Park. Eerily melodic bird calls echoed from invisible inhabitants. An earthy organic miasmal aroma assailed my nostrils. I became sticky with perspiration in the humid environment, and misty clouds obscured the further reaches of my sight.

south australia tourism, bicentennial conservatory, whats on in adelaide, what to do in adelaide, gardens in adelaide, gardens of australia, rainforest in australia, australia plants
Miasmic Mist


My reverie quickly dissipated as a noisy family of tourists entered the jungle, but the other-worldly feeling remained. I slowly moved along the gently climbing walkway as it took me away from the under storey of plants. Tall ferns filtered the light in place to a greenish glow.

south australia tourism, bicentennial conservatory, whats on in adelaide, what to do in adelaide, gardens in adelaide, gardens of australia, rainforest in australia, australia plants
Aerial Prop Roots of the Pandanaceae


It doesn't take long to walk from one end to the other, but seats are there to tempt visitors to while away some introspective time as they enjoy the (slightly clammy) atmosphere. The conservatory is not only home to Australian plants but also some endangered rainforest plants from northern Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and south Pacific Islands.

south australia tourism, bicentennial conservatory, whats on in adelaide, what to do in adelaide, gardens in adelaide, gardens of australia, rainforest in australia, australia plants
Towering Palms @ Bicentennial Conservatory


If you're not sure what to do in Adelaide, a visit to the Bicentennial Conservatory is something you must try. It is quite an experience for all the family, and best of all - it is now free to visit. Visitors should take care on the wet paths, as the automatic sprays to maintain humidity can make these a little slippery.

south australia tourism, bicentennial conservatory, whats on in adelaide, what to do in adelaide, gardens in adelaide, gardens of australia, rainforest in australia, australia plants
Informative Displays Guide Visitors


Help us improve  Click here if you liked this article  81
Share: email  facebook  twitter
Why? Stunning architecture, a beautiful setting, and a rainforest in Adelaide.
When: 10am - 4pm, or 5pm during daylight saving
Phone: (08) 8222 9311
Where: Plane Tree Dr, Adelaide SA 5000
Cost: Free
Your Comment
I tried getting in here once, before they took out some of the plants. But I didn't have the cash on me to get in (I think it was around $3).

But I remember hearing all the talk that they were just going to turn the heating off and let the plants die because they couldn't afford it. So I'm glad they haven't gone down that route, and that something has been done.

It's a pretty spectacular building. I'll have to go check it out soon, at least I know I now don't have to worry about having spare change on me. Do you know if they take donations if people want to give some money?
by Natasha Stewart (score: 4|10410) 2162 days ago
Dave I went after it was declared free entry. It is definitely not as hot and humid as it used to be. However, I clearly did not enjoy being in there as much as you did :p
I actually wondered whether some of the trees and plants may fare badly after they turned off the heating in winter.
by Yin-Yin Ow (score: 3|1596) 2162 days ago
More Adelaide articles
Articles from other cities
Popular Articles
Categories
Lists
Questions